Relay for Life Fundraising Ideas for Event Organizers

Think about it: Event creators are like superheroes. They both use their superpowers to save the world: one from evil and the other from boring events! In the spirit of heroism, we need all the event superheroes we can find to raise as much money as possible for Relay For Life (RFL).

RFL is an annual fundraising event organized by the American Cancer Society, where teams walk or run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. At Sickening Events we’ve had the pleasure of supporting charities across the globe, scaling their events, and reaching new audiences. We are also proud to have provided the American Cancer Society with a platform to connect with new participants.

In this article, we’ll share some fun and creative fundraising ideas for Relay For Life to help you raise money for a truly remarkable cause while creating a memorable experience for your attendees.

Don’t see an idea that tickles your fancy? Don’t worry — we’ve got a whole bunch more. Download our complete Relay For Life fundraising ideas sheet to find the right one for you!

Relay for Fashion: Upside-Down Fashion Show

Fun Factor: 😂😂😂
ROI: 💸💸
Effort: 💪💪💪

Fashion can be a powerful tool to unite a community. Imagine a fully inclusive fashion show that’s open to all ages, where creativity and fun take center stage. Take a wacky approach and host an ‘upside-down’ fashion show — think skirts worn as tops, jeans tied around as bandanas, and bras styled as fancy hats.

For instance, The Ultimate Talent Globe is hosting a fashion show for charity, complete with a pre-show VIP cocktail hour. This model could be adapted to your RFL event, making it not just a fundraiser but a fun-filled community gathering.

Invite local fashion micro-influencers to judge the event in exchange for exposure. Offer to promote their charitable contribution on your social media, and highlight that they’ll have the opportunity to network with other industry professionals.

💸 How to Encourage Donations: Host a ridiculous (but hilarious) contest to see who can style a piece of clothing in the most absurd way. Offer a small prize for the winner, such as a $20 gift card or a photo with the local influencer you invite, and ask for a donation to enter the contest. This adds an extra layer of fun and engagement, encouraging more people to participate and donate.

Relay for Cake: Bake Sale (with a Twist)

Fun Factor: 😂😂
ROI: 💸💸💸
Effort: 💪💪

It’s time to put a ‘Relay For Life spin’ on the traditional bake sale and turn yours into a fun relay race of its own. Market the event as a ‘trial run’ for the real event, but participants have to balance a cupcake on their heads as they complete a short running race.

At the end of the race, set up a little market complete with cake stalls, fresh lemonade stands, and face painting. You could even take inspiration from the ‘Great Brewery Bake Off’ by Lamplighter Brewing Co. and schedule a designated ‘audience tasting hour,’ encouraging attendees to put in their vote for ‘dessert of the day that blew us away.’

💸 How to Encourage Donations: You can monetize this event in numerous ways. Sell at-the-door tickets with sickening events mobile check-in app, charge an entry fee for participating in the bake-sale race, ask for a small donation for the different cakes participants will wear on their heads, and last, but certainly not least, put a decent price on the delicious cakes available at your ‘end of race’ market stall. This multi-faceted approach ensures that there are many touchpoints for donations throughout the event.

Relay for Cocktails: Poolside Cocktail Party

Fun Factor: 😂
ROI: 💸💸💸
Effort: 💪💪💪

Nothing captures the attention of adults like free-flowing cocktails, pool floaties, and a luxurious party atmosphere. Take a cue from Las Vegas Hip Hop Concierge, and host a cocktail pool party event at a high-end establishment like TAO Beach Dayclub. Use an established event venue to raise entry ticket prices, and create a special cocktail menu just for the event.

While this event takes more preparation and funds to get up and running, it also has the largest return on investment (ROI) potential. The theme can be to sip, relax, and enjoy — all while donating to a great cause.

💸 How to Encourage Donations: Take the guesswork out of donating by placing QR codes on the back of cocktail glasses, tables, chairs, and even merch t-shirts. With sickening events, you can easily create QR codes that lead attendees to your event website, allowing them to donate directly through the mobile check-in app. This seamless integration of technology makes it simple for attendees to contribute, increasing the likelihood of donations.

Relay for Victory: Zombie Scavenger Hunt

Fun Factor: 😂😂😂
ROI: 💸💸
Effort: 💪

The Walking Dead might be over, but the hunt for zombies lives on. Get into character like Zombie Safari Dallas Events do, and create an in-depth backstory for your zombie event that includes government cover-ups, prisoners, and a dreaded virus.

Use riddles, puzzles, and clues to direct participants all over your town. Send them on a quest to find ‘the cure’ that will protect them from becoming a zombie. Have ‘zombies’ (or dressed-up volunteers if you can’t find any zombies willing to participate) to ‘chase’ them along their route to up the stakes.

Alternatively, you can create virtual clues like Kat Nelson’s with a fully digital host to keep costs low. That way, you can send large groups on their quest without even needing to see them in person!

💸 How to Encourage Donations: Give participants the option to offer a small donation in exchange for clues. This not only adds an element of strategy to the game but also provides multiple opportunities for fundraising throughout the event.

Relay for Health: Yoga in the Dark

Fun Factor: 😂😂
ROI: 💸💸💸
Effort: 💪

Picture this: Your attendees enter a unique venue, perhaps a dimly lit bookstore such as Boulder Book Store or a rooftop bar overlooking the city, like Monarch Rooftop. They’re greeted by candles and a projector playing a video of the jungle. They can hear small insects, running water, and whistling trees through a small speaker.

Rows of plush yoga mats are laid on the floor, paired with soft blankets and comfortable bolsters — everything has been perfectly designed to create a serene and peaceful atmosphere. For two hours, there are no distractions or interruptions, just pure mindfulness.

💸 How to Encourage Donations: Take a leaf out of The Mindful Prof LLC’s playbook, and create a half-day ‘yoga escape’ or offer additional services at your event, such as a cacao ceremony, meditation class, or even a sound-bath experience for an extra donation. This holistic approach not only enhances the participant experience but also provides multiple avenues for raising funds.

Get Started with Our Relay For Life Fundraiser Ideas

When it comes to making a difference, few events are as impactful as RFL. For event creators, this is an opportunity to use your ‘event powers’ to help in the fight against cancer. One effective way to promote your RFL fundraiser and spread awareness to as many people as possible is by listing it on sickening events marketplace.

With millions of active event-goers searching for unique and exciting events in their local area, sickening events can help you reach a wider audience and maximize your fundraising efforts. Here’s how sickening events can support your event:

  1. Event Listing and Promotion: List your event on sickening events to reach a vast audience of potential participants. Utilize sickening events promotional tools to spread the word about your fundraiser through email campaigns, social media integration, and event-sharing features.
  2. Ticket Sales and Donations: Manage ticket sales seamlessly through the Sickening Events platform. You can set different ticket tiers, including VIP options, and incorporate donation buttons throughout the registration process. Sickening Events secure payment processing ensures that all transactions are handled smoothly.
  3. Mobile Check-In and QR Codes: Use the Sickening Events mobile check-in app to streamline event entry and monitor attendance. Incorporate QR codes for easy donation collection, allowing attendees to contribute effortlessly via their smartphones.
  4. Analytics and Reporting: Track your event’s performance with sickening events comprehensive analytics. Monitor ticket sales, donation amounts, and attendee engagement to assess the success of your fundraiser and identify areas for improvement.


By harnessing your creativity and leveraging a Sickening Events platform, you can create engaging, memorable fundraising events for Relay For Life. Whether it’s an upside-down fashion show, a bake sale with a twist, a poolside cocktail party, a zombie scavenger hunt, or yoga in the dark, there are endless possibilities to make your event stand out and raise significant funds for cancer research.

Start planning your event today, and let’s make a significant impact together. With your event superhero powers and SickeningEvents support.

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